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Hopefully starting on the 13th of October, an information point is to be set up in the lobby of the Orihuela Costa town hall, offering vital information on how to register to vote in the next and upcoming elections.

The point will be staffed by multilingual volunteers, and is in collaboration with the coastal CLARO political group, but the aim is to offer administrative and procedural advice, and will not be politically motivated.

Many people attend the town hall in order to register on the voting list, but are sometimes initially turned away for having the wrong documentation, incorrect status, or simply confused by the process which is conducted by an official in Spanish, some having to return and face the queuing process once again, others simply giving up. The information point aims to reduce the stress and hassle by offering the correct help and information on what is needed before the town hall officials are approached.

Martina Scheurer, the Councillor for International Residents as well as the Orihuela Costa, explained that the “official form can only be completed by the town hall official, but it is sometimes confusing for those people who perhaps don´t understand what is being asked”, continuing, “this information point offers the chance to reassure those who need a helping hand, and guide them through the process”, thus making the concept of becoming registered easier.

Of course on the other side of the process are those town hall officials, many of whom also feel the stress and burden of having to turn people away, or face communication problems themselves. The staff in the town hall are also fully supporting the initiative, as it will make their operation easier too.

Although the elections are not until May of next year, the need to ensure registration is crucial now, as the deadline for being registered is the end of the year. There is a procedure for registering beyond that deadline, but that process is even more confusing, so it is far easier to ensure registration before that deadline date.

In addition, the Spanish National Statistics Institute, the INE, are writing to a number of people to confirm their voter status, which is the easiest process of all, should you be one of the lucky ones to receive a notice in the next few weeks. If you do, and it will be a small letter with a foldable and returnable section that requires your signature, you simply need to return that form and your registration status will be confirmed. However, for those needing more information, then the information point will be the next and most logical stage.

The operational times will be confirmed nearer the launch date, but as it will be staffed by volunteers, there is likely to be a relatively short window of opportunity each day, but once you embark on the process of ensuring your right to vote is registered, then you are on your way to also making sure that your voice is heard at the time it matters, during the next elections which will take place in 2015.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/45121/

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